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what to do when you keep getting pushed away on top of dealing w/paranoia

mikenz
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2011

hey all, this is my first post, didn't think i would need help but i guess we all do at one point or another. so to be as brief as i can, i'm the oldest of four, i have three younger sisters, the one closest to me in age, deb is an rn who had been working for of all things hospice. my father passed on years ago so it is just me, my mom and sisters. four months ago by accident they found my sister had cancer that had spread to the point, well it was too late. nonetheless she decided to try the whole routine but no miracles this time. she got let out of the hospital again, this last time on christmas eve and has hospice care at home now. it is only a matter of time now. why am i posting? because i don't know how to deal with the situation. growing up we were always close, not so much later in life but still pretty close. fyi she 44, me 46. when she was first diagnosed and in decent health i tried to get her to take a drive with me up to the mountains, not a long drive two hours and at that point she was in good enough health she literally a week later drove seven hours straight, alone, to see one of her sons in nebraska. but she wasn't up to it to go with me. a few weeks later i asked her if she wanted to go into town and then it was i have too much to do i can't. i stop by she is too busy to talk to me and would send me away. i tried to help in other ways, ways where she couldn't push me away. i got her some hats because its winter here and it gets cold when you don't have any hair. she didn't want any of them. i got her flowers to brighten up the space in her house, she didn't have room, she gave them to her hospice nurse. in the hospital she begged me to get her a living will and power of attorney so she wouldn't have to worry. i did exactly that, had my mom take it to her. she exploded on her, thought i was trying to take her house and meddle in her business? she entirely forgot it was she that begged me to do the medical living will and power of attorney and besides they had nothing to do with her house but to hear say that stung and hurt, a lot. i maxed all my credit cards, brought out family so we could spend one last christmas together. i'd worked on this for months so that she and the kids could have a good lasting memory. two hours before we were to get together she thinks we are trying to manipulate her and there is no christmas. hurt feelings and crying instead from my mom and the rest. i just went over a few days ago with some mini ben and jerrys, those three bite containers since she has such a hard time eating anything at all, she gave them away, walked right past me, didn't even look at me and went in the other room. i've had my share of health problems and i've almost died on a couple of occasions so i can understand a little of what she is going through but not the cutting off of me,the paranoid ideas directed only at me, it is like every single negative feeling she has is all directed at me and nobody else and i don't know why or what to do and it is killing me inside. tonight we are going to get down around -20 so i made mention to one of the kids to pull the gps out of the car so it doesn't get damaged by the cold. she turned almost, forgive me but evil on them, and told them,"you tell michael not to worry about his gps and to mind his own business." i don't know my sister now, she has pushed me out, she doesn't have time for me, and even when i do things she ask of me she gets paranoid and thinks there is some other motive for doing it? like the gps thing, i could care less about anything material at her house i just wanted somehow be a part of a conversation without it having to do with anything medical. i've volunteered so many times to take her to appts. yet she always turns me down through others or doesn't return calls. she would rather go with strangers than me. we were good, we were okay before she got sick. i have always been there for her growing up, and now she not only won't let me get close i am the focus of ever negative paranoid thought and it is the most awful of feelings. i am at a loss, a total loss. i know there are no easier answers but i was hoping at least i'm not the only one who has gone through something like this because at least knowing that would make it easier to cope if you know what i mean. so anything you have to say, anything at all, it would be appreciated. i'm just desperate and am grasping for straws at this point. thanks for reading even if you don't have anything to say. mike

mikenz
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2011

i should have read on down as it looks like this is something a lot of folks have to go through and have gone through. i just need to read through them all but its something and every little bit does help.

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

Keep posting when you want to discuss things, it helps.

Hugs,

Bluerose

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

As a 23 year survivor of cancer I have been through some many freakin emotional stages I can't even begin to tell you. Not only is the whole experience of cancer difficult enough on it's own as far as realizing you have the disease and getting treamtent for it, blah blah blah, but don't forget that there can be side effects from all the treatments as well that can be affecting your Mother's personality. Now I am no doctor or counsellor and you have to pass this by her docs as a possibility, but it can and has happened, to me for one and to others I know who I have spoken with.

Cancer drugs are harsh and some of them can affect the brain and hormones plus radiation can have an effect depending on the treatments. Not many people close to cancer patients realize this, actually I never thought of it either til I started to see patterns in my own behaviour long after it happened. I was angry and didn't realize it but I was definitely taking it out on my family now and again. I was devastated when I realized this, I really hadn't realized it at all when it was happening.

Of course there are a ton of other reasons to feel angry after a diagnosis and withdraw. Just the diagnosis can do that all on it's own and sometimes people get stuck in one of the stages of grieivng the loss of their health and need a good grief counsellor to pull them out of it.

I don't remember if you said your Mom has seen a counsellor but regardless of whether she wants to see one or not it might help you and maybe your siblings too to go see one yourself so that they can perhaps give you some insight on how to deal with it all yourselvs. Cancer touches the whole family and everyone can be at different stages of grief at different times so sometimes it's a good idea to get a good counsellor to get you all onto the same page.

I think everyone is important in the cancer journey, the patient/survivor, family and friends, all have their upsets with this darned disease.

Be gentle with yourself but think about talking with a good counsellor - they could really help you see things a little differently perhaps.

Blessings,

Bluerose

lovingwifedeb's picture
lovingwifedeb
Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2010

Hey Mike,

No one said this was going to be easy, huh? Who asked us if we wanted the job anyway? I sure didn't hear "Hey... is your heart big enough for this job? Do you think you can spare some extra love and grab a hold of this person and guide them through hell and back?" Doesn't really matter how you are related when you care about the person who has cancer and they are busy with their anger, they don't see you or love.

Today my husband yelled at me for the first time since he was diagnosed with melanoma, stage 4. Hurt? You bet. "We" just went through brain surgery this week. Sure, I could make all kinds of excuses for him but it really doesn't matter, I'm not the one who is losing life here, piece by piece... he is. I get to stay and see the sun set, smell the flowers, see my grand children grow. Sure he may be here tomorrow, 3 months from now or even 1 year from now. If I'm lucky he may be here 2 years from now but nobody knows for sure. The pressure is too big for both of us. It certainly was too big this week after graduating from stage 3 and into stage 4 and going through brain surgery... all in 2 weeks.

We do the best we can with what we are given today.

My feelings were hurt today.

But my husband's life is on the line.

Your sister's life is on the line.

They are learning to live with that and we have to be OK with that.

Peace to you Mike and all your family.

Deb
lovingwife to Bob, stage 4

mikenz
Posts: 6
Joined: Jan 2011

things have been changing quickly and i haven't had the chance to get online for a few. both of your perspectives, what you have gone through helped me to understand and not to take it personally. just this past tuesday i just barged into her house ignored the nurses and everyone else and sat down next to her and made her put up with me. i didn't talk about the illness, tried to make jokes, tried to bring up good memories from the past. then as i left i kissed her on her forehead and said goodbye. the next day she went into the hospital and has been unresponsive since. i'm glad i got to say goodbye, i almost didn't, i turned around twice on my way over tuesday because of car problems but something kept telling me,no you have to go now no matter. right now my niece is on her way back from nebraska with my nephew, my sisters youngest. we are all praying that they get here in time. i will always remember that smile when i lifted her up to kiss her goodbye, she was so frail and felt like a rag doll in my arms, it was at that moment i just collapsed inside and let everything go, the only thing that mattered, the only thing in my mind and heart was that specific moment in time. on a related subject, i came across a brief write up today and having lost my father when i was young i was so surprised how the author got so many things right, if you are interested i'll leave the link here. so, by the time you read this my sister will probably have passed on so i doubt if i will be back here but i did want to say again thank you both and i truly wish the best for you all. p.s. my little sister, her name is deb too, blond hair and used to be cut like the way you have yours in the photo before all this happened. take good care, mike

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-cara-barker/grieving-101-are-you-sure_b_810081.html

lovingwifedeb's picture
lovingwifedeb
Posts: 184
Joined: Aug 2010

There is just no rule book that helps guide us through this part in life is there? I think most of us have to wing it and play by our hearts just as you did Mike. It's all a person can do.

I hope I have enough unselfish love in me to help guide my own self and my husband when I'm confronted with the big "D"... not looking forward to that day if truth be told. Not sure which is better fast and furious or slow and painful... one side you have no last time together and the other, you have time but experience your partner's downward spiral.

In 6 months time the biggest lesson I've learned today is to live my life between surgeries... in the fast lane. Between projects, jobs and family be sure to squeeze love, pain, wound care and healing in there. It's a new kind of life for me and my husband. Both of us are trying to learn the lesson of Acceptance... yea, try that one.

Peace to you Mike and your family and I am very sorry about your sister.

Deb
lovingwife to Bob, melanoma stage 4

MissTodd's picture
MissTodd
Posts: 28
Joined: Jan 2011

Mike, I just want you to know, if you come back. I'm so glad you said "to h#ll with it" and went to your sister. There was a night that my husband was so sick and I called his family to let them know what was going on. I was so scared that was going to be the day. One of the brothers/sisters called the family from out of state and they all called him. I made him talk to them. My husband was so angry with me for that, told me not to ever do that again. Well, soon enough the day came where he wasn't able to hold a conversation. I'm glad I did what I did, and not just for him.
We need to do what we need to do. Amy

bluerose's picture
bluerose
Posts: 1089
Joined: Jul 2009

I am so glad you went back and said goodbye to your sister, am so glad you followed that gut instinct that told you to keep going even though there were obstacles in your path that day. More people need to listen to that internal voice, it knows what it's doing.

All the best Mike and if you ever need to talk again please feel free no matter what the situation you find yourself in with your sisters illness.

Blessings always,
Bluerose

jsd
Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2011

hi mike,
my partner split up with me last september saying that he still loved me but he wasnt in love with me anymore, it hurt like mad but what really hurt was finding out 3 months later that he had cancer and had started treatment 2 weeks after the split. we had been together for 3 years and had known eachother for 6,we had a good solid relationship before the cancer then it was completely destroyed. ive found it hard to understand and except why he didnt tell me the truth in the first place, it felt like he didnt trust me enough but i guess maybe he was just trying to spare me the upset of seeing him suffer which is maybe what your sister is doing. hes like jeckal and hyde at the moment one day hel have a go at me and the next hel be talking to me as if nothings happened. he wont talk to me about the cancer ( i still dont know where the cancer is ) or the treatment he wont accept my help in any way all i get is " told you i dont want or need your help i just want to be left alone " yet other people will offer the same help and they get " thanks mate i appreciate that " its so hard for me because i still love him dearly and desparately want to be there for him but he has pushed me away in the same way your sister has you. i cant begin to imagine what my ex is going through and if hes not willing to talk about it then i never will , all i can do is let him know every now and then that im here for him if he ever needs me. all i can say is that from what ive read on other sites a lot of cancer sufferers suffer from mood swings they want people around them but they dont, they want to be on there own but they dont if you know what i mean , its a no win situation. maybe as they start to improve they will look back and realise what we were trying to do for them either way try and stay positive still let your sister know that are and always will be there for her but also get on with your own life as well.if they wont except your help you cant force it on them all you can do is let them know you still care and will help as and when needed. i hope this has helped in some way . good luck and take care. x

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